Here is a problem you may come across if you are testing Windows Server 2012 Essentials on VMware Workstation 8. The Windows Server 2012 Essentials installation goes well, but right after you install VMware Tools the screen goes blank. The server is still running, but there is no video.
Power off the Virtual Server, click on Edit virtual machine settings, select Display from the list of hardware, and then put a tick in the box for Accelerate 3D graphics.
Power on the server again and you should now be able to view the desktop once again!